Motherboard

A Pocket Bike Does a Burnout on an iPhone 6S in Carefully-Engineered Experiment

It (sort of) still works.

by Clinton Nguyen
Nov 9 2015, 7:40pm

It's quite possible that the smartphone is the most unintentionally abused device in our history—it powers a cottage industry of smartphone repair shops, the paranoia surrounding it lines the coffers of accessories companies. Phones may very well rank highly on the "intentionally abused" list too. Exhibit A: this video from Techrax showing a guy running a pocket bike on an iPhone 6S until the tire reaches burnout.

As you can see, the iPhone's fine, at least relatively. It could have been worse; after all, iPhones have been shattered, dunked in chemicals, sunk underwater all in the hunt for page views. But the worst damage this phone received was a broken display. The touch screen was even still working.

The current iteration of "don't do this at home" videos is breaking phones, and finding destructively creative ways to do it. In fact, it's likely something of a self-sustaining business: on the YouTube channel, iPhone-breaking videos often rack up over 1 million morbidly curious viewers (Hank Green of Vlog Brothers says the payout per thousand views is on average $2, and even on that modest rate, you're making $2,000 for 1 million views).

Bonus points if it's on fire, has a thumbnail of a knife sticking out of it, or in some pained, awful position. It's the digital, PG-rated digital equivalent of rubbernecking, except this isn't an accident you're looking at. You're going to watch this, then you'll watch the one where he sets it on fire with bromine. And perhaps the one where he boils it, or puts it in lava.

If phones had feelings, this would probably be staring through Hell.

Correction: This post originally referred to the pocket bike in the video as a Ducati, which it is not. Finally, those stickers fooled somebody.